The Islamic Republic at 40: The Struggle for the Future of Iran and Challenges for the US

The Islamic Republic at 40: The Struggle for the Future of Iran and Challenges for the US

Alex Vatanka, Middle East Institute
May 17, 2019

Under massive American sanctions, Iran is today faced with a long list of problems. And yet, there is a deep split among the Iranian people, and within the ruling elite, about the best way forward. The Trump administration’s Iran policy is disjointed, but Iran’s problems are overwhelmingly of its own making and go back to 1979 when the Islamist model was first born. The question is, can the Islamic Republic survive if it stays on the same course?Another question is whether Iran can depend on China to be “rescued” while under US sanctions?

Alex Vatanka is a Senior Fellow at the Middle East Institute in Washington D.C. He specializes in Middle Eastern regional security affairs with a focus on Iran. From 2006 to 2010, he was the Managing Editor of Jane’s Islamic Affairs Analyst. He is the author of “Iran-Pakistan: Security, Diplomacy, and American Influence” (2015), and contributed chapters to other books, including “Authoritarianism Goes Global” (2016) and “Handbook on Contemporary Pakistan” (2017). He is presently working on his second book “The Making of Iranian Foreign Policy: Contested Ideology, Personal Rivalries and the Domestic Struggle to Define Iran’s Place in the World.”

Supported in part by Lynn Carrozza, Sandy Sheehy, Urban Enhancement Trust Fund and Sandia National Labs